Just a random one-shot I wrote a while back. Ryelsi, Christmas, all that good stuff! Alternating between Ryan and Kelsi's viewpoints, it's their first Christmas in New York!! Enjoy and Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
DISCLAIMER: I don't own High School Musical.
Note: Aris is a boy's name. He's Ryan's roommate.
"Have yourself a merry little Christmas –"
"Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the –"
"All is calm; all is bright, round yon –"
"I'm gonna be home for the holidays –"
Kelsi Nielson finally shut off the radio with a scowl. All the stations were blasting Christmas music, and none had any normal music on. It was a week until Christmas, and she was not in the Christmas mood. It was her first Christmas away from home ever. She was at Julliard College in New York, and she knew she should be happy, but she just couldn't get into the mood.
The school and all the surrounding buildings, stores, and houses were decorated to the gills with tinsel, lights, and such, Christmas carols were playing from everywhere, and there was a light, fluffy snow falling from the sky. It looked like a storybook Christmas, but Kelsi wasn't feeling it.
She didn't know what it was. Maybe she was sick of the Christmas music, because it had been playing since the beginning of November. Maybe it was the cold and snow. It was never cold enough to snow in Albuquerque, and she quickly learned that it was cold, wet, and unpleasant.
Or maybe it was how everyone else was so happy. Groups of friends walked around, clutching their hot chocolates and coffees, giggling, excited about the upcoming winter break. Boys randomly starting up snowball fights, or stuffing snow down each other's coats. Couples walking hand-in-hand, looking like something out of a movie.
Kelsi had a group of friends. Julia, Holly, Sammy, Aris, Molly, Jake, and of course, Ryan. They would have their own snowball fights, and sit around in Starbucks, nursing cappuccinos. Her, Ryan, and Julia were all from the same area, and weren't used to the cold and snow. So it was the couple thing then.
Half the songs on the radio were about getting warm and cozy with the one you loved. And Kelsi had never really had an issue with this before. All her friends were always paired up, and she never thought much of it. But now it seemed painfully obviously that she didn't have anyone. Now not all of her friends were paired up, just Holly and Aris, but it seemed like everyone else was. This, she concluded was the reason that she was so grumpy.
Christmas was Ryan's favorite holiday. He would break out the Christmas music early; as soon as Halloween was over, much to his sister and parent's chagrin. The day after Thanksgiving, he would crawl up in the attic and dig out the tree and all the decorations. He would occasionally get his sister to help him put them up. It depended on the mood she was in. If she was in a good mood, they would have fun putting them up, singing Christmas carols at the top of their lungs. If she was in a bad mood, he would do it himself, and have to deal with her snapping at him to stop singing.
It was his first Christmas away from his family. His parents were going to Bermuda, and Sharpay was spending it with friends from college. But in his past Christmas's, they had traveled occasionally over winter break, and he had been in many different places during Christmas. He had been to places with snow, and he was sad that Albuquerque didn't have snow. That was one of the reasons that he was so happy that he got to spend Christmas in New York. He was guaranteed snow. It was a little colder than he expected, but he didn't mind.
His friends had mixed feelings about snow. His roommate Aris, used to move around a lot as a kid, so he had experienced many different type of weather at Christmas. He could take or leave the snow. Whereas Kelsi's roommate Julia came from California. She absolutely hated it. Sammy, Melissa, and Jake had lived on the East Coast, so they were used to light winters. Holly had lived in Wisconsin, and she was used to, as she put it, "Tornadoes in January, blizzards in May, thundersnow, and the occasional sub-arctic temperatures."
Ryan had been surprised at how fast he had made friends. The only person he had known was Kelsi, and between the two of them, they had formed a group of close friends. He had felt more comfortable here than anywhere else. True he had his friends at East High, but here no one really cared about sports or smarts. It was all in your talent, and your love for music. He still hadn't made any progress in the girlfriend department, but he knew that a few girls had been interested in him, and it was a relief to be in a school where no one thought he was gay.
There was going to be a Christmas show at Central Park on Christmas Eve. There were some people from the school singing, and there were even some celebrities going to be there. The theme, of course was Christmas music. Almost everyone was going to be going, and the whole group of them walked down together, laughing, joking, and just enjoying themselves.
They bought some hot chocolates, and found a spot to sit where they could enjoy the show. They had fun singing along with the songs they knew, and made up words to the ones they didn't know. After a while, Ryan noticed that Kelsi wasn't really joining in on the singing, and seemed a little on the outside of the group. When the intermission came, everyone got up to stretch, and take bathroom breaks.
"Wanna take a walk?" Ryan offered.
"Sure," Kelsi said, looking up, surprised.
They started walking along the path, which was lit with lampposts, that had wreaths hung from them. They walked for a little while in silence, when Ryan said,
"So what's wrong?"
"What do you mean?" Kelsi asked, surprised.
"You just seem out of it a little."
Kelsi sighed. She had tried to hide it, but Ryan was too observant for her. Now she would have to explain.
"I guess….I just don't really like Christmas that much." Ryan stopped dead in his tracks, and looked at her in disbelief.
"Well I do, but I'm just not in the mood this year!" Kelsi said quickly, trying to defend herself.
"I…I don't know. I guess….. I just feel a little lonesome."
Ryan started walking again, contemplating this. Here Kelsi was, at an amazing school, surrounded by great friends, at Christmastime, no less, and she felt lonesome. He didn't get it, but he guessed that she had some reason of her own.
"Even with totally awesome friends like me?" he asked jokingly.
"Well, you do make your presence known," she kidded back. "Even when we don't want to know!"
"Oh no you didn't!" Ryan exclaimed. "You're going to get it now, Nielson!"
With that, he started chasing her. With a squeal, she took off away from her. They ran laughing up the path, into a circle walkway around a fountain. He chased her around the fountain, finally catching her, picking her up, and threw her over his shoulder. She shrieked with laughter, and beat uselessly on his back, yelling at him to put her down. He circled around the fountain in triumph, carrying his prize on his back. Finally, he set her on the ground, because he was laughing so hard, he was afraid he would drop her.
Her cheeks were rosy red, her eyes sparkling behind her glasses. A light snow had started to fall, and it was sticking in the curls that were poking out from under her hat. She was laughing so hard, that it was hard for her to stay standing up. While she was gasping for breath, she looked up at Ryan. His face was red from exertion, his bright blue eyes piercing, but full of laughter. His hat was askew on his head, from Kelsi knocking into it when he threw her over his shoulder.
Just then, they heard the slow strains of the music starting up again. Ryan doffed his hat, and swept into a low, exaggerated bow, with his hand extended.
"May I have this dance ma'am?" Kelsi giggled, and curtsied.
"Why of course sir!" Ryan took her in his arms, and started to whirl her around the circle. They were laughing and giggling, not even really paying attention to the music. Kelsi was surprised to find how easy it was to dance with Ryan. She was normally very clumsy, and not good at dancing. But dancing with Ryan was practically effortless. She basically had to sit back, and he did most of the work.
The music slowly faded, and they could hear the faint sound of applause in the distance. They slowed their dancing as well, and they came to a stop. Kelsi found herself lost in Ryan's eyes. She had never really considered Ryan before. True he had asked her to prom, but nothing had come of it, and she figured they were just friends. But now…..
Ryan stared into Kelsi's blue eyes. He had always had a crush on her, but she had never seemed to return the feeling. So he was content with staying just friends with her. But now; here they were in New York, just having danced in the snow on Christmas Eve. Their hands were still clasped. His other hand was on her waist, and her other hand was on his shoulder. She was so close; he could feel her breath, and the warmth of her body next to his. Her small pink lips looked warm and inviting.
Kelsi felt her breath catch in her throat. He was so close. And, unless she was imagining it, he was leaning in closer to her, his eyes on her lips. He hesitated, and then gently placed his lips on hers, both of them receiving their first kisses.
Kelsi had always thought that her first kiss would be nothing special, that there was no such thing as the fireworks that you saw in the movies or books. But she was wrong. Kissing Ryan was like nothing she had ever experienced.
Ryan couldn't believe that he had finally gotten the courage to kiss Kelsi. He had imagined it a lot of times, but nothing in his imagination measured up to what he was feeling now, as she pressed her lips back against his.
He pulled away, happy but nervous about her reaction. Would she be mad? Upset? Disgusted? Thankfully none of the above. She was smiling shyly back up at him. When he saw this, he couldn't help the big smile from spreading across his face. She liked him! Him! And she had kissed him back.
Kelsi couldn't help smiling even bigger when she saw how happy Ryan was. She even let out a little giggle. She couldn't help herself. She had never been happier in her life. Not when she first made friends with the Wildcats, not when any of her songs were praised, nothing. And now he was leaning in again, and she was swept away in complete bliss.
A couple of loud booms broke them apart. Fireworks were going off, and people were cheering in the distance. Apparently the concert was over with. They hadn't even noticed. Taking her hand, they started walking back to where the concert was. Both were caught up in their own thoughts, not knowing that their thoughts were running along a similar train of thought. They made it back to the entrance, where they were greeted by their friends.
"You guys, were where you? You missed the whole second half!" Jake exclaimed when he saw them.
"Yeah, what were you guys doing?" Melissa asked slyly, looking at their intertwined hands.
"Um…." Ryan started.
"Never mind, we don't need all the gory details!" Aris joked. "Just be glad this was a free concert, because you guys missed most of it!"
Laughing and joking, the group made their way back up to school. But Ryan and Kelsi both had their minds miles away. Or at least back in the circle by the fountain.
I knew I liked Christmas for a reason. Ryan thought happily, as they walked through the archway of the school.
Maybe Christmas won't be so bad after all. Was Kelsi's final thought, right before she drifted off to sleep that night, after regaling the girls with all the details of that magical evening.